The Kidnapping of Higher Education in Alabama

Posted on December 24, 2021

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In the past five to ten years the University of Alabama has abandoned its dedication to the basic elements of higher education in the country: namely, placing excellence and freedom of speech (or academic freedom) as the twin principles that have helped place Alabama among the top 500 universities and colleges in the nation.

Programs of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) across the country have replaced these core principles driving University administrations and faculty, undermining, and cheapening the value of higher education degrees. We are addressing the various expressions of DEI which includes a whole sector of the central administration named the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion directed by Dr. G. Christine Taylor, here in Alabama based on our relationships to the University in many categories, from alumni to faculty to administrators to coaches and staff keeping the University functioning.

In fact, the University has been figuratively kidnapped by Critical Race Theory and given broad expression in the University system by DEI. We need to restore excellence and integrity to the University. To do that, following our kidnapping metaphor, we need to one, rescue the University, two, purge it of DEI, and three, once again make excellence in teaching, research, and service as the prime ingredient in university culture.

DEI programming is based on a major false historical assumption that white racism has historically been the driving force in the making of the American nation and it is still driving the nation, and Alabama, today. Driving DEI is Critical Race Theory, or CRT.

CRT, in turn, springs from Project 1619. If you are not following this easily, it’s because you are not meant to be able to. You’ve heard of “double speak.” This is double speak taken to a higher level of obfuscation, dressed in freedom of speech, and presenting lies as truth.

Let’s start out with I have called the “big lie,” which supports Project 1619. Follow me. We are going briefly to examine Project 1619, then see how it supports CRT, which in turn is expressed on campuses nationwide, including UA, by DEI. So, Project 1619→CRT→DEI→

In a few words, Critical Race Theory springs from Project 1619. CRT in turn is the underlying principle of DEI, and states quite unequivocally that whites are by nature racists and cannot escape this legacy. If you are white, you are by definition a systemic racist. And secondly, that all blacks are victims of white racism, and they cannot escape that legacy of victimization either.

That assumption is based on a project called Project 1619. I grew curious about this Project since I am a professional historian and a few years ago began to investigate it. A journalist, Nikole Hannah-Jones, decided that the date 1619, when the first Africans were introduced into the English colonies, also marked the beginning of the immense and continuing rule by whites over blacks in the history of the United States. White domination, or racism, is systemic in American history. It is THE thread that characterizes U.S. history, and it needs to be destroyed.

Not long after her “discovery,” some distinguished Princeton historians examined Hannah-Jones’s thesis and debunked it thoroughly. Or, to put it nicely, she was wrong. America was not characterized by “systemic racism,” although racism was certainly a part of our history, just as it is for almost all people at one time or another in their history.

Here’s the rub. People can interpret history anyway they want. That liberty of expression is part of our commitment to freedom of speech. Project 1619, CRT, and DEI promoters, however, and it is a HUGE however, claim that we will never overcome systemic white racism until we basically destroy it. That is not academic freedom at work; it represents an ideological dictatorship. We are totally right; you are wrong. You will think and do things our way. That is DEI in practice at UA.

Every other race, ethnic group (think Hispanics, Asians, etc.), gender (you did know the Wokes now identify more than two genders, didn’t you?), and anyone in fact who is NOT male and white, will be promoted, lifted up, moved forward, awarded high grades, taken care of in protected spaces in university environments and otherwise in dozens of fashions liberated from being oppressed and victimized by white racists. This is called equity.

Don’t confuse equity with equality. Equity is meant not simply to level the playing field, but level all the players. It is, in fact, a form of racism in reverse. Persecute the whites by actively discriminating against them in favor of the poor, the oppressed, the victimized, those bent by their race into subservience. All whites are members, or sympathetic to the Ku Klux Klan; all blacks and the victims are Jim Crow bent and bowed under the lash of the white masters.

DEI now has dozens of administrators in the system at UA devoted to making these ends and goals come to pass. They are disguised rather thinly, but the truth is they are eroding true freedom of speech in research and teaching and lowering standards (freshman can’t fail English and Math anymore; they simply keep retaking them until they pass some watered-down versions of what used to be key areas in the Core Curriculum) to the point where a college degree is coming to be meaningless. Everyone qualifies; all are promoted. What happened to hard work, tests to determine learning, desire to succeed, skills challenged, the making of an educated man or woman, or now a woman who claims to be a man, or a man who thinks he is a woman?

All this is being done in the clear. UA claims that now there are more than 1500 courses devoted in some fashion to diversity. Fifteen hundred courses?! What does that translate into dollars and cents, what percentage of the tuition and fees you are paying to have your son or daughter at UA goes to those who administer and teach critical race theory which itself is false and spurious.

Victor Davis Hanson, a professor of classics and military history at California State University and a fellow in classics and military history at Stanford University summarized the last ten months in a column, “The ‘Woke’ Got What they Wanted—and Then What?” in The Epoch Times, Dec. 15-20, 2021.

 “So, in just 10 months, the left got what it wanted,” which included open borders, defunding police, leading to “shoplifting, looting, and street thuggery  [now] just part of living in a normal city,” vast increases in oil and gas to accommodate pie in the sky green agendas to manage climate changes, printing vast amounts of money to “spread the wealth” leading to rampant inflation stomping all over on the poor and middle classes, a disaster in foreign policy in Afghanistan where the U. S. president declared a victory as we scrambled out of the country, our tails between our legs as the rebels slaughtered the last remaining American troops, and let’s add CRT and DEI to the disasters in the schools and colleges of the nation.

As Hanson noted, “the people are becoming not just sick of what has followed, but disgusted. They are terrified that the left isn’t just failing, but also wrecking the country and them along with it.”

The recent elections in Virginia showed just what parents thought of CRT propaganda being distributed in K-12 school. We here in Alabama now have a bill in the Legislature to bring CRT rules and principles under either control, or completely eliminated. It will come to a vote later in 2022 and the Governor, Kay Ivey, will have to decide whether she will support it or not. Her election in the next round of elections may depend on how she votes on this bill.

How do DEI directors at UA propose to bring all this about, or, more exactly, deepen and widen the scope of the great kidnapping? There is a web site, www.diversity.ua.edu, which probably has 100 pages or sections or more describing IN DETAIL both the strategy and tactics for DEI promotion at UA.

I was in the Navy in my service time, in the Amphibious Fleet, and we had to put together huge tomes of the next invasion we planned, everything from the early planning to taking off the dead and wounded at the end. I don’t think any amphibious plan I ever dealt with was anywhere as complete and detailed as the UA DEI plan on the web.

If you have a few hours and are bored some afternoon this winter, take a look. Perhaps the plans for D-Day, June 6, 1944, were longer, but only because a few more troops were involved than DEI is now recruiting across the nation.

 The best tool in exploring the dynamics of action by CRT/DEI is the UA 2021 DEI Progress Report where sections call for mandatory DEI language to be put into job advertisements and requirements for department heads to evaluate faculty on DEI compliance, deans to evaluate department chairs, and appropriate administrators to evaluate deans on DEI.  These things are in writing as part of the “Strategy.”

 I liked the following one, which was a bit different from running the Department of History twenty years ago when I was guided by old standards of excellence, like publications, student evaluations, and service to the profession.

“Conduct, with the leadership of the provost, a review of the tenure and promotion process to re-value the service performed by faculty in the interest of advancing racial equality. The review would take into account such work as mentoring of underrepresented students or performing service to underserved communities. Units should ensure that these highly valued contributions to the tenure and promotion process do not prohibit faculty from advancing in ran in a timely fashion.”

What?! “Mentoring underrepresented students?” Like, this isn’t done to begin with in the admissions process? Ah, another door into DEI at UA which I don’t have time or space to deal with right now. Who is being admitted is another victim of the kidnapping of higher education.

Forget grades, examination scores, other signs of creativity and contributions to the world of education, plus initiative, skill sets, desire, and some other often subjective categories. Think race, victimization, ethnic deficiencies, etc. etc. Little did I know that my Chilean mother might have helped me pass beginning calculus at Duke my freshman year, and my sophomore year when I took it again.

“Doc, calculus and math weren’t in my genes, you know these Hispanics, Latinos, just music and tacos….”